Sudden Cardiac Arrest Or Heart Attack: Know The Difference
(NAPSI)—A little knowledge can be a lifesaving thing. Too often,
people use “sudden cardiac arrest” and “heart attack”
interchangeably, but they shouldn’t.
A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked and sudden
cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating
unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and
sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem. Here are a few
more facts it may be healthy to know from the American Heart Association.
What Is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery keeps oxygen-rich blood from
reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened
quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to
die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.
Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though,
symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or even weeks before the
heart attack. The heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack.
Symptoms can differ in men and women.
What Is Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest often occurs without warning. It’s triggered
by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat
(arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot send blood
to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses
consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim
does not receive treatment.
What Is the link?
These two distinct heart conditions are linked. Sudden cardiac arrest can
occur after a heart attack or during recovery. Heart attacks increase the
risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most heart attacks do not lead to sudden
cardiac arrest but when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, heart attack is a
common cause. Other heart conditions may also disrupt the heart’s
rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest. These include a thickened heart
muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart failure, and arrhythmias, particularly
ventricular fibrillation and long QT syndrome.
What To Do: Heart Attack
Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t wait
more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or other emergency response number.
Every minute matters. It’s best to call
to get to the emergency room right away. Emergency medical services staff can
begin treatment when they arrive—up to an hour sooner than if someone
gets to the hospital by car.
EMS staff are
also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest
pain who arrive by ambulance may get faster treatment at the hospital, too.
What To Do: Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within
a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services. Then use an
automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. Begin CPR
immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services
arrive. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately
while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death—nearly 360,000
out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the
. By performing
immediate CPR, you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of
You can find further information about how to help save a life with CPR at www.heart.org/CPR.
Download article content [Top]
Lifting The Weight Of Life’s Pressures
(NAPSI)—When it seems like the weight of the world is on your shoulders,
the answer may be—more weight...in a special weighted blanket, that is.
Here’s the blanket statement on how it works:
Weighted blankets can be a safe and effective nondrug therapy for anyone
seeking a solution for loss of sleep or need for calm.
“In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools
for helping people who are anxious, upset and possibly on the verge of losing
control,” says occupational therapist Karen Moore. “These blankets work by
providing input to the deep pressure touch receptors throughout the body,”
she adds. “Deep pressure touch helps the body relax. Like a firm hug,
weighted blankets help us feel secure, grounded and safe.”
Weighted blankets can be used to provide relief and comfort in cases of:
• Sensory disorders
• Sleep disorders
• AD/HD (Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder)
• Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder
• Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and fidgeting legs due to chemotherapy
treatments, menopause symptoms and fibromyalgia
• Anxious feelings and panic symptoms, stress and tension
• Dental anxiety
• Menopause symptoms.
Occupational therapists and doctors also recommend weighted blankets for
Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Parkinson’s disease,
Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar disease and post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). As SFC David DeMarco, U.S. Army, Retired, says, the “calming” effect
can assist with restless sleep and PTSD.
They work because the deep pressure stimulation that happens when you get
a hug is similar to cuddling up with a weighted blanket. “Pressure is calming
to the nervous system,” says
Grandin, who invented
the squeeze machine.
To make it easier to achieve this comfort, Mosaic Weighted Blankets® are
filled with just enough nontoxic Poly-Pellets to provide deep pressure touch
stimulation without uncomfortable restriction.
The blankets are custom made for each person to get the right size and
weight. They can cover the whole body for sleeping or just the legs. Lap
blankets and wraps are also available and they all come in a variety of
fabrics and patterns that appeal to children and adults.
Mosaic Weighted Blankets® relieve the mind, relax the body and release the
spirit, letting the rested and calmer you shine through. For more information,
call (512) 567-8943 or visit www.mosaicweightedblankets.com.
Download article content [Top]
Preventing Childhood Tooth Decay is as Easy as 2 Minutes, Twice a Day
(NAPSI)—Here’s health news you can sink your teeth into:
Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, with more than 16 million
kids suffering from untreated tooth decay in the U.S. The mouth is the
gateway to overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be associated with
obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. In the
, oral disease causes kids to
miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours
Nevertheless, a survey by the Ad Council found less than half of American
parents report that their children brush their teeth twice a day.
To remedy that, The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives was
formed. It’s a coalition of more than 35 leading dental health
organizations and, with the Ad Council, they created the Kids’ Healthy
Mouths campaign to teach parents, caregivers and children about the importance
of oral health and simple ways to prevent oral disease.
Created pro bono by ad agencies Grey Group and Wing in
New York, the campaign stresses the
importance of brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day.
“The messages in this campaign may seem simple but their impact will
be felt for years to come,” said Gary Price, Secretary and CEO of the
Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. “Most mouth disease is preventable
using steps that can easily become a part of every child’s life
According to the survey, 60 percent of parents with children ages 12 or
younger don’t regularly help their children brush or check to make sure
they’ve done a good job. Parents also report that, on average, their
child spends more than 2 hours a day on such things as playing video games,
texting or watching online videos.
The campaign suggests some of this time be used for improving their oral
health with public service announcements (PSAs) that poke fun at the things
children spend their time doing and highlight that it only takes 2 minutes,
twice a day to help maintain a healthy mouth and prevent future oral pain.
Other PSAs feature Elmo from “
Street” or Tooth—the Tooth Fairy
from the film “Rise of the Guardians.”
Music To Brush By
For entertaining two-minute videos to play while children brush their
teeth, parents and caregivers can go to www.2min2x.org (available in English and Spanish and in a mobile version). There’s
also messaging on Facebook and Twitter.
Learn more at www.2min2x.org.
Download article content [Top]
Circadian Rhythm And Blues: When Your Body Clock Can’t Reset
(NAPSI)—Most of us feel alert when it’s light outside and want
to sleep when it’s dark. Light is the cue that helps our internal body
clock—or “master body clock”—synchronize to the
24-hour day. In people with a circadian rhythm disorder, however, the timing
of this clock is disrupted, causing our rhythms to get out of sync.
Non-24-Hour Disorder, or Non-24, is one of the
rarest and most difficult-to-correct circadian rhythm disorders. People with
Non-24 lack the day-night cues needed to help regulate their master body
clock. The disorder, although rare in the general population, is
unfortunately very common in people who are totally blind, affecting 50 to 70
percent of people who are totally blind.
Normally, light is the primary environmental time cue that resets the body clock each day, but in totally blind
people, the lack of light information reaching the brain causes the clock to
run on its own time, which in most people is naturally longer than 24 hours.
People with Non-24 have a master body clock that continually delays, putting
them to sleep later and later each night. Eventually, the night turns into
day, with patients having an overwhelming drive to sleep in the day and stay
awake at night, before cycling back to normal and beginning the cycle all
The inability to live on a 24-hour day makes it difficult to keep to a
schedule and hold a traditional job, attend school, or even socialize
regularly. The lack of sleep associated with the disorder can decrease
alertness and memory, which are essential to daily functioning. In addition,
Non-24 can cause shifts in body temperature and hormone secretion, and alter
the pattern of mood and performance.
“Some people who have non-entrained rhythms find the condition so disruptive that it is as bad as being blind,” said Harvard neuroscientist Steven
Lockley. “Imagine the worst jet lag possible for sometimes weeks on
end—that’s what some of these patients are going through.”
Although Non-24 impacts people’s sleep patterns, it is not just a
“sleep disorder”—it is a disruption of the master body
clock that affects much more than sleep, such as metabolism and immune
function. Diagnosing the condition is not as simple as conducting an
overnight sleep test. Instead, doctors should look for changes in sleep and
wake cycles over several weeks using a sleep diary, while also assessing
changes in the timing of hormones such as melatonin and cortisol, in order to
diagnose this circadian rhythm disorder.
There are no FDA-approved treatment options currently available for
totally blind people living with Non-24, but studies are under way. For more
information on Non-24, visit www.non-24.com.
Download article content [Top]
Accessorize Your Dinner Table With A Heart-Healthy Label
(NAPSI)—Whether you eat most of your meals at home or tend to grab
something on the go, eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. A
good place to start is looking at the nutrition information located on the
food package or provided by the restaurant, especially when you look for the
American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark.
You can find the Heart-Check mark on heart-healthy foods in the grocery
store or in select restaurants offering certified heart-healthy meals. In
addition to looking for the Heart-Check mark when you grocery shop or go out
to eat, here are some other ways you can make healthy choices.
Hints To Help You Grocery Shop
• Limit your total fat to no more than 56 to 78 grams a day,
including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of
trans fat and less than 200 mg of cholesterol in a 2,000-calorie diet.
• Fuel up on fruits and vegetables. Your body needs vitamins and
minerals to stay healthy. Give your body what it needs—4½ cups
every day—to make sure your body isn’t running on empty. Try one
cup of fruits and vegetables at every meal and two snacks with one cup each
and you’ll be on your way.
• Check total calories per serving. Generally, for a 2,000-calorie
diet, 40 calories per serving is considered low; 100 calories per serving is
considered moderate; and 400 calories or more per serving is considered high.
• Look at the serving size and avoid consuming more than one.
• Avoid such extras as cocktails, bread and butter, or chips and
• Ask for butter, cream cheese, salad dressing, sauce, gravy and
other condiments on the side, so you can control the quantity you consume.
• Instead of fried foods, go for baked, boiled or grilled.
• Steer clear of high-sodium foods such as those served pickled, in
cocktail sauce, smoked, in broth or au jus, or in soy or teriyaki sauces.
• Be selective at salad bars. Choose fresh greens, plain vegetables
without added sauces, fresh fruits and beans; steer away from cream-based or
cheese dressings; and opt for healthy vegetable oil-based dressing, such as
vinegar and olive oil. Limit cheeses, marinated salads, pasta salads and
fruit salads with whipped cream.
• As a special treat, choose desserts and make smart choices. Fresh
fruit, fruit ice, sherbet, gelatin and angel food cake are better choices.
• Instead of cream, ask for fat-free or 1 percent milk for coffee or
fat-free half-and-half. Low-fat soy or almond milks may also be good choices.
• Ask your server how particular foods are prepared and what ingredients
• Ask if smaller or lunch portions are available or whether you can
share entrées with a companion. If smaller portions aren’t
available, ask for a to-go box when you order and place half the
entrée in the box to eat later.
• Ask if substitutions are possible. For example, if a dish comes
with French fries or onion rings, ask whether you can get a salad with
vegetables with the dressing on the side. Instead of mayonnaise-laden
coleslaw, ask if you can get fruit or vegetables instead.
Watch Out For The Salty Six
Sodium overload is a major health problem in the
. The average
American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, more than twice the
level needed for a healthy heart.
Sodium affects not just your heart health but your appearance as well. It
can make your face feel puffy, give you bags under your eyes, increase
swelling in your fingers, and make your clothes look and feel tighter.
Many people may be surprised at these six popular foods that can add high
amounts of sodium to your diet. Looking for the Heart-Check mark on the Salty
Six is an important way to find better options in these food categories.
1. Breads and Rolls. Some foods
that you eat several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium
even though each serving may not seem high.
2. Cold Cuts and Cured Meats. One 2-oz. serving—six thin slices—of deli meat can contain as
much as half your daily sodium limit. Look for lower-sodium varieties.
3. Pizza. A slice of pizza with
several toppings may contain more than half of the sodium you need daily for
good health. Limit the cheese and add more veggies to your next slice.
4. Poultry. Sodium levels in
poultry can vary greatly depending on the processing—sometimes, sodium
is added to poultry during processing. Adding more salt during cooking can
increase the already high levels in your bird.
5. Soup. The sodium in one cup
of canned soup can be more than half the recommended intake for the whole
6. Sandwiches. A sandwich can
contain more than 100 percent of the daily recommendations. Try half a
sandwich with a side salad instead.
Find out how foods qualify for the Heart-Check mark and see a list of
certified products at www.heartcheckmark.org.
Download article content [Top]
(NAPSI)—Sometimes, a healthy diet alone can’t provide all the
nutrients you need.
Explains nutritionist Keri Glassman, best-selling author of “The New
You (and Improved!) Diet,” CoQ10 is essential for heart health. It’s
found in oily fish, meat, whole grains, certain vegetables, and olive, canola
and sesame oils.
There’s not enough of this vital nutrient in normal portions,
however. Also, Glassman says, there’s a significant difference between
conventional CoQ10 and its pre-converted Ubiquinol form.
“Ubiquinol, the natural active form of CoQ10, is a substance
produced in the human body until around age 30,” she explains. Glassman
tells clients there’s a time and place for supplements and recommends
that anyone over 30 take the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10.
Optimal Ubiquinol levels help support cardiovascular, neurological and
liver health. It’s the strongest known lipid-soluble antioxidant and
may help counter unwanted side effects of statin drugs.
Learn more at www.ubiquinol.org.
Download article content [Top]
Seniors: Take Aim Against Silent Killers
(NAPSI)—If you’re age 65 or older, odds are you have a chronic
condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,
about 80 percent of seniors in the
have at least one chronic
condition. The most common chronic conditions among seniors are “silent
killers”—diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart
disease that often have no physical symptoms. Despite their silent nature,
these conditions may result in life-threatening complications, disability and
significant costs if not properly managed.
“A chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease should not be
taken lightly,” says Rhonda Randall, D.O., geriatrician and chief
medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “It’s
important to get screened for these illnesses annually, even if you don’t
have symptoms. If you have a chronic condition, educate yourself and take
action to help reduce your risk of serious complications.”
Know your risk factors: Everything from your age, gender and genetics to your diet and exercise
affect your risk for chronic conditions. Having regular doctor visits and
preventive screenings can help manage potential risks. Medicare covers the
cost of many preventive services for people with chronic conditions,
including an annual wellness visit at no co-pay.
Reset your lifestyle: Simple
diet and exercise changes can help reduce your risk of health complications.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, get back into an activity you enjoy doing.
Review the services offered by your health plan. Many Medicare Advantage
plans offer additional benefits and services to help members live healthier
lifestyles, including nutritionist counseling, wellness programs and gym
memberships. If you smoke, get out your calendar and circle the day you plan
to quit today. Medicare now covers counseling for smoking cessation support.
Have a plan: If you have a
chronic condition, good self-management skills may help make the difference
between a healthier life and regular visits to the emergency room. Talk with
a health professional about what you need to do to manage your condition,
develop a treatment plan and set specific goals. Share your plan with family
Consider specialized Medicare
coverage: Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans cover all the services
under Original Medicare plus additional benefits and services that may help
beneficiaries with chronic conditions live a healthier life. For example,
UnitedHealthcare offers plans for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, heart
failure and/or chronic lung disorders. By working with members and their
physicians to coordinate care, Special Needs Plans have been shown to improve
health care outcomes among beneficiaries with chronic conditions.
For more information on Medicare options for those with chronic
conditions, visit www.MedicareMadeClear.com.
For information on how to protect against silent killer diseases, visit
the American Heart Association at www.Heart.org.
Information on Medicare preventive services may be found at www.Medicare.gov.
Download article content [Top]
Deteriorating Visual Field May Indicate Low Vision-Solutions Are Available
(NAPSI)—Have you ever looked at a telephone pole and noticed it to
be less than straight? Have you detected a loss of your peripheral vision,
making it easier for people to startle you or making driving with confidence
As you age, your eyes get older, too. And as your eyes get older, your
risk for low vision and low vision-causing eye diseases increases. Low vision is common amongst people in their senior
years. Once vision is lost by diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration
or diabetic retinopathy, it often cannot be restored. Vision can, however, be
preserved, and with a few changes in lifestyle and the use of low vision
devices, living independently with low vision can be both safe and
What Is Low Vision?
“Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with
eyeglasses, contact lenses, pharmaceuticals or surgery,” explained Dr.
Paul Michelson, Chair of The Vision Council’s medical arm, the Better
Vision Institute, as well as a low vision medical expert. “More likely
than not, everyone knows someone with low vision.”
At first, you might notice a bit of distortion in your vision. Something
that is a straight line in reality—a telephone pole, for example—may
appear to curve to a person with low vision. Low vision can impair the
ability to complete activities of daily living or follow routines and enjoy
pastimes—such as reading—that people take for granted. It is a
common ailment for adults 60+ and seniors who may be aging in place. Low
vision is often coupled with a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration,
diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
Low vision differs from presbyopia, which is
when the ability to focus on near objects simply diminishes. Signs of low
vision are broader and include:
• Areas of blurred or distorted vision or spots and blotches in your
• Shadowed or darkened field of view or noticeable loss of
• A gradual loss of central vision
• Cloudy and blurred vision or exaggerated “halos”
around bright lights
• Blind spots in your field of view.
Seeing an eye doctor at the first sign of any visual change can help to
detect the diseases that result in low vision and is an important step in maintaining good vision. Sometimes there is a
pharmaceutical or surgical solution to stop further progression of one of the
diseases associated with low vision. There are also eye care providers who
specialize in low vision devices. These specialists can help their patients
with low vision devices such as stand magnifiers, closed-circuit TVs and
telescopic lenses to help them maintain independence and improve their
ability to perform daily tasks.
Dr. Michelson also pointed out, “We urge people to check on family,
friends and neighbors who might be experiencing some of the signs of low
vision. Vision training, vision rehabilitation and low vision devices can
help people maintain and optimize visual function, and preserve as much sight
as is possible.”
With the goal of raising awareness about symptoms of low vision and
finding available resources, The Vision Council created a new website. “The
information and resources on this new website can teach people more about the
changes they are experiencing. Catching the symptoms of low vision early may
help sight be preserved and, in some cases, lessen the advance of low vision,”
added Dr. Michelson.
Where To Learn More
To learn more about low vision and find resources, visit www.whatislowvision.org.
Download article content [Top]